The Montreal Canadiens have decided that the long-term health of Carey Price is more important than his appearance at this year’s All-Star game. GM Marc Bergevin announced today that Price will not attend the event scheduled for later this month, instead will use the time to rest an injury.
We took the time to discuss the situation with Carey and the medical group earlier today, and we all agreed that the best decision for him would be to rest and recuperate during the upcoming All-Star Break. Carey has had a nagging injury for some time, and we want to make sure to have him healthy and rested for the second half of the season. Carey is honored to once again have been named to the NHL All-Star Game, and he is on board with the Club’s decision.
Like Alex Ovechkin who made a similar decision, Price will be forced to miss the game immediately prior to or immediately after the All-Star break. With the team playing in a back-to-back situation coming out of the break, it seems likely that Price will miss the game on February 2nd against the New Jersey Devils as punishment.
Price’s decision brings up an interesting decision for the NHL, as he was to be the team’s lone representative at the upcoming event. Every team is supposed to send at least one player, but unless Antti Niemi is going in his place there doesn’t seem to be room for Montreal to send someone else. Shea Weber is involved in the fan voting for the “Last Man In” from the Metropolitan Division, but seems like a distinct underdog against the likes of Morgan Rielly, Mark Stone and Brayden Point (among others).
One can imagine the league would not have chosen Price for the game had they known he would decide not to attend, especially given the backlash that erupted from his selection in the first place. Not only has Price missed time due to injury this season, but he had a .904 save percentage at the time of selection—one of the worst numbers of his career. In comparison, Jaroslav Halak (.926), Frederik Andersen (.923), Andrei Vasilevskiy (.920), Carter Hutton (.917) and Tuukka Rask (.917) all have started at least 20 games and have better save percentages than Price’s current .908 mark in the Atlantic Division right now. The Canadiens needed a representative though, and the league decided goaltender was the best bet.
Regardless of the All-Star implications, the decision to rest is likely a good one for Price and the Montreal organization. Notorious for playing through minor injuries, the franchise goaltender will get a good amount of rest and hopefully be able to stay healthy for the second half of the season. The Canadiens are battling for a playoff spot this season despite low expectations, and need their goaltender at his best down the stretch.